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Lake Erie algae alive and well.

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Water Supply An ongoing, severe drought in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state has prompted rationing for 2 million people in 18 cities and threatens the water supplies of 20 million people, Bloomberg News reported. Nonetheless, elected officials–many up for reelection this fall–are playing down the water crisis. North America’s “water tower”–the Rocky Mountains–is increasingly drying out […]

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United States At least 182 households in California’s San Joaquin valley no longer have running water in their homes due to the ongoing drought, prompting bottled water distributions by emergency services, the Associated Press reported. Circle of Blue’s latest story about the drought explains how a well-drilling “free-for-all” by the agriculture industry is behind the […]

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Lack of testing requirements inhibits more thorough review of drinking water safety.

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Water Supply Water shortages are worsening in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, where residents are protesting to get water access at least once a week, the Associated Press reported. Drought, population growth and inadequate infrastructure are all contributing to the problem, as current water supplies are sufficient for just half of the city’s demands. Water delivery […]

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Mexico Two weeks after approximately 37,800 cubic meters of sulfuric acid spilled into Mexico’s Bacanuchi River from a copper mine, 88 schools have delayed the start of the academic year because of contaminated water, United Press International reported. The country’s National Water Commission said that toxicity levels in the water are declining, and could be […]

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Pollution The salinity of fresh water systems in the United States is growing due to urban wastewater, stormwater and fertilizer runoff, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Guardian reported. The salinity is creating problems for cities that rely on surface water supplies for drinking, and can also create issues for agricultural […]

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Iraq’s Mosul Dam, the largest in the country, is back under Iraqi and Kurdish control, but potential delays in maintenance during the fight over the dam have raised concerns about its structural integrity, Reuters reported. The dam has long needed almost constant maintenance due to flaws in its foundations, and a complete breach could flood […]

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Asia The South Asia region could lose as much as 9 percent of its annual gross domestic product by 2100 if nothing is done to curtail climate change, according to a new report from the Asian Development Bank, AlertNet reported. Increasingly common extreme weather events are expected to damage infrastructure, agriculture and human health in […]

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India At least 28 people have died and 1,500 communities have been flooded in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state following heavy rainstorms in the Himalayas, Reuters reported. Dams in the mountains are already overflowing and exacerbating the flooding, which is expected to continue with more rain forecast for the region. A break in a major […]

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Where the Maumee River feeds into Lake Erie, the city of Toledo relies on the lake to supply drinking water for half a million residents in northern Ohio. Intense algal blooms, which can release toxins capable of causing severe liver damage, caused a neighboring Ohio community water treatment plant to shut down in September.

Explore options from stricter fertilizer regulations to funding water plant improvements.

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Climate Change Two-thirds of glacial melting in the past 20 years was due to human-caused climate change, according to new research published in the journal Science, the Guardian reported. Researchers used computer models to identify how the role of factors like greenhouse gas emissions and land use change compared to the role of volcanic eruptions […]

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India will spend $US 1 billion by 2017 to clean up waterways and make more water available for irrigation, Bloomberg News reported. Government officials say the plan will allow an additional 500,000 hectares of land to be irrigated. Climate Change Water supplies in some of Asia’s major rivers may be at risk as glaciers on […]

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Approximately 33 centimeters (13.26 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours on Long Island, New York—a record amount equal to the rainfall the area usually receives in more than two months, Reuters reported. The heavy rain led to flash flooding, closing roads and creating dangerous conditions for commuters. Water Supply San Francisco is faced with […]

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Climate Pauses in the jet stream are becoming more common and creating more extreme weather in mid-latitudes around the world, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, the Guardian reported. These “blocking” patterns have more than doubled during summers in the past decade, the research found. India’s […]

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Mining Approximately 10 million gallons of wastewater spilled from northern Mexico’s Buenavista copper mine last week, contaminating portions of the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers, the Associated Press reported. The rivers provide water to a number of cities and towns in the region, including Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora state. The failure of a tailings dam […]

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Current targets not enough to stop algal toxins.

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Toledo crisis prompts calls for action, purchases of testing equipment to safeguard public health.

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Iraq Militant forces of the Islamic State have taken over the Mosul Dam in Iraq, the country’s largest dam and a strategic control point that experts say could be used as a weapon, Bloomberg News reported. The group has used dams in the past to flood areas or withhold water and electricity, but so far […]

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China A lake containing 49.6 million cubic meters of water has formed in China’s Yunnan province after an earthquake and subsequent landslides blocked rivers in the region, Reuters reported, citing Xinhua. The lake continues to grow, and 4,200 people have been evacuated to avoid a massive flood if the water breaks through the natural dam. […]

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